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Uppado

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring!

Maya keeps getting better and better at walking, running, climbing, and other kinds of motion.  She can almost go up a flight of stairs without holding someone else’s hand!

As she practices her motor skills, you can see the language gears turning in her head.  She still only speaks about a dozen words and we rely on signs (plus some non-linguistic stuff) for much of our communication. And, she seems to have developed an “all-purpose” word.  I remember my brothers going through a period of the all-purpose word– with one of them, the word was “wadduhhhhh.” It can be used as an exclamation, an affirmation, a commentary, a word for muttering in one’s sleep, and many other reasons.  Maya’s word seems to be “uppado.”  It’s her version of two of her favorite words: “up” and “down,” and it refers to a favorite activity, “up-and-down,” i.e., climbing up and down a set of stairs, a stepped set of couch cushions, a foot stool, etc.

We always interpreted “uppado” as command or request, until yesterday, when I realized she was using it in a way that didn’t fit.

“Yes, Maya, that’s an Easter card from grandma and grandpa.”
“Uppado!”

“Hey, Maya, did you have fun with Daddy at the park today?”
“Uppado!”
“Well, yes, I know you went up and down the steps at the park, but did you watch the busses, too?”
“Uppado!”

I know things will get better when we can understand everything she’s telling us, but she is so fun– and so funny– right now that I don’t want to forget her little quirks.  So, I thought I’d better write this one down.

Uppado!

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In Motion

Her finger is not actually *in* her nose

Her finger is not actually *in* her nose

Now that Maya is mobile, my job as photographer/chronicler is more difficult.  Perhaps this series of photos will illustrate what I mean better than words can.

IMG_8732

IMG_8736

IMG_8738Or this:

20141227_09321520141227_09323420141227_093212I feel like there’s something about that last photo that shows a resemblance to me.  Maybe it’s just a mannerism, or a shape to her facial expression, but as the parent of a child who looks nothing like me, I guess I’m always sort of looking.

 

 

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Class Insecta

Halloween2014

Our house was invaded, er, visited by a couple of insects on Halloween!  Maya was a bee and I was a wogglebug.  We went to visit a few neighbors to show off our costumes; Maya was old enough to understand that there was something to be excited about, but wasn’t very clear what it was.  Luckily, she also doesn’t know about candy yet.  Next year I suppose that will all be different…

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List of Excuses

McClure3

McClure Pass, Colorado

I feel sheepish even visiting my blog site after such a long period of neglect.  Do I remember how to post a new entry?  How many updates to the WordPress program have I missed?  Will anyone ever read my blog again?

Ah, parenthood.  It makes it so easy to shuffle out of a familiar space you used to visit every day and just forget to come back for weeks or even months.  In August, I started running again, after a hiatus of nearly two years.  But I had to make a conscious decision about how I was going to add this activity to my schedule, how many times a week, and so on.  Now I’m trying to do the same with this blog.

If I still have any readers left, I would like to apologize for the long period of silence.  And make a few excuses:

1. The Dog Ate my Homework

Okay, actually, the baby ripped the keys off my laptop and wreaked havoc with my tablet computer.  Those touchscreen devices are pretty cool– until a 1-year-old discovers how cool they are.

2. I Thought it Was Due Next Week

Or, more precisely, I thought this week was last week.  Who can keep track of time with a demanding, excruciating, delightful, frustrating, hilarious little munchkin using it all up?

3. I Didn’t Think You’d Notice if I Skipped an Assignment or Two (or Three or Four)…

Now that it’s mostly baby photos that people want, and not my words of wisdom (or foolishness), that’s what I’ve been serving up.  In a tiny effort to protect my daughter’s privacy, I try to share the photos and videos on an invite-only basis.  Message me or comment if you’d like to join my “Mayalerts” email list.

Thanks for reading!

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The Cup

IMG_7675A few posts ago, I mentioned the sparkly coffee mug that Maya gets so excited about.  So, this morning I thought I’d better take a picture at a typical moment. It’s a little dim, but you can see the sparkle of the mug and the reverence in Maya’s face.

Other things that she gets unreasonably excited about:  lights, the plants that live in the sun room at the front of our house, the Rubber Ducky Song video with Ernie from Sesame Street.

She and I have been going to a signing class for babies every Saturday this month.  Yesterday was our last meeting, and I think she actually has figured out that she can sign some words!  Predictably, her first sign was “light” (which was not even part of the class, but I looked it up to use at home since that’s such a key word for her).  She also seems to know “more,” “eat,” and maybe “milk.”

But formal communication systems aside, she’s still quite the clown.  Rather than sign “more” at mealtime, why not just open your mouth as wide as possible and lean forward like a baby bird?  And verbally she’s working more on animal sounds than actual words.  Last night she woke up at 4 am and went through the litany: “ott ott,” then “ssss” (snake sound), and then “click click” (like horse hoofs).  At least I didn’t hear a plaintive “nana” (“banana”– generalized to “food”, or “I’m hungry”).

So, for more amusement, here she is in action, worshiping The Cup.

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My Baby Smells like Sardines!

…or, why we don’t need another dog (yet)

porch

Summer of 2006, I think

Joda, our endearing old dog, died a year ago tomorrow.  At the time, I was 6 months pregnant, and so we’ve jokingly speculated about whether the baby has inherited a bit of her.  “See, just like Joda!” one of us will say when, for example, Maya grabs a piece of paper and shreds it up gleefully with her mouth.

Most of our comparisons are silly.  Just like Joda, Maya:
-is always excited to see me when I get home from work
-needs help getting around– for now
-takes naps multiple times a day
-likes to swim and bathe, but is not so sure about showers

Other similarities are just odd.  For example, a few weeks ago, we cooked up some chicken breast for Maya.  It was nice, organically raised chicken breast and it was cooked without any seasonings– perfectly unoffensive in every way.  Yet, she rejected it.  This is a kid who happily ate smoked salmon, lamb, and meatballs (both Italian and Norwegian) over the holidays.  She’s eaten everything we’ve ever offered her (except for Bo’s homemade okra pickles, which is another story), so it was puzzling that she didn’t like the chicken.

even beets are okay!

even beets are okay!

But we want to make sure that she is getting enough protein, chicken or no chicken.  My solution is eggs and peanut butter.  Bo’s solution? sardines. We usually have sardines around because Bo likes them.  He used to share them with Joda from time to time.  And now, it turns out, he can share them with Maya.  She loves sardines.

In case you are concerned, they are a Norwegian brand of sardine,  from nice cold water and have been treated well and are quite clean.  They are packed in olive oil, but I guess a little extra oil in her diet won’t hurt (just as we used to say about Joda…).

Fossail13coverC

long-suffering Joda, 2000

Now I’m looking forward to the day when Maya can run and fetch things for us (though Joda was never actually very good at that), when we can go for long rambles amongst the trees in the mountains, and when we can just sit enjoying the outdoors quietly, looking around with our ears open and our sniffers activated.

"Why do *I* have to wear this now?"

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First word

imageMaya and her cousins by the Christmas tree

Maya said her first word over the holidays!  Or at least it was the first time we noticed that she was saying a word and not just going on and on in her own peculiar language, which we don’t understand.  I felt a little worried: what if she’d been trying to say words for a few days or even a week, and we hadn’t noticed?  Maybe we were so caught up on her first time crawling (a feat she has not yet accomplished) to pay attention to the fact that she was trying to communicate!

At any rate, the official First Word as it now stands makes for a memorable story.  We traveled back to the East Coast, and the minute we stepped into my parents’ house, Maya looked at the Christmas tree and said “ott”.  It was clearly meant to be a word, with the “t” sound very sharp and distinct.  “Light?” I said.  “Ott!” she said, still looking at the tree. 

My parents enjoyed this, because a) what grandparent doesn’t love to be in on their grandchild’s first anything?; and b) my first word was “ite”, which meant “light.”

I’ve been pondering this over, wondering how “light” became rendered as “ott.”  Bo and I haven’t been emphasizing the “t” sound when we say the word “light” to her.  And why would she use the short “o” vowel sound instead of a long “i”?

imageDoesn’t getting ready for the holidays just knock you out?

I think I’ve finally figured it out.  We have a coffee mug with a Laurel Burch design that Bo often uses, and Maya is captivated by the colorful pattern and shiny gold leaf.  When he carries her around in the mornings, mug in one hand and baby on the other arm, she reaches for the mug.  “Hot!” he says in warning.  She seems to have gathered what this means and now pulls her hand away just short of anything we tell her is “hot.” 

Of course, “ott” sounds much more like “hot” than like “light.”  But maybe the colored lights on the Christmas tree reminded Maya of the sparkly colors on her favorite coffee mug, and so she put the two concepts together and said the word she’s accustomed to hearing when she reaches for the mug.

Now I’m trying to figure out if any of the other sounds she makes are words yet.  I tried her on “da da” today (“where’s da da?”), since she makes that sound all the time.  But no response to that yet.  I did notice, however, that when Bo put up some new twinkly lights and I asked her “where’s the light?”, she pointed– with her index finger!

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